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Pakistani Christian 'left for dead' by Muslims for 'displaying poppies on car'

The first national newspaper to rport this story was the Sunday Times, followed by the Star and the Sun

A Christian of Pakistani origin who was beaten and left unconscious in a car park says he was attacked by Muslims who objected to him displaying two large red poppies on the front of his car.

The food delivery driver from Derby was parked outside a restaurant and chatting to his sister on the phone when he claims a group of men attacked and beat him until he was unconscious. He believes that the people responsible for the assault in Littleover at around 8.45pm on October 20 were Muslims who objected to him showing his support for British troops.

He claimed that the men objected to him displaying two large poppies on his silver Toyota, which also had a cross dangling from the rear-view mirror.

“If I am not a brother, I am a kaffir. They left me for dead. They hit me as if they were playing on a football pitch,” he said. “I am a Christian. Because of the poppies on my car, because of the cross in my car, I have been hit. I put poppies on my vehicle because I support British forces for their good work around the world and I really salute them, British forces.”

Tajamal moved to the UK from Pakistan 10 years ago after being targeted in a drive-by shooting by Islamists who wanted to convert him.

It was the third time in 12 months he has been targeted in the UK by Muslims because of his Christian faith and the two poppies he displays on his motor all year round.  "Several times, local Pakistani people in Derby have taken offence from the fact that I am Christian. When they first find out, many stop talking to me. My wife and I have often been shunned."

He accused his attackers of 'trying to force Islam into this country’ and vowed not to give in to them by putting even more poppies on his car.

"Freedom of religion should be the right of any British citizen but today I feel unsafe, even then nothing will stop me going to church.

"I will pray for my attackers and hope they will change their hard-line approach to faith which is very dangerous for our society."

Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said: "An innocent man has been hospitalised, he has had to take several days off work, and now he is living in fear of further reprisals, simply for adhering to the Christian faith."

At the time of the offence, a spokesman for Derbyshire Police said: "We were called to a report of an assault outside the Red Chilli restaurant, in Littleover, at around 8:45pm. It was reported that a 45-year-old man had been kicked and punched. He was hospitalised at the Royal Derby Hospital with a broken nose and we have not yet arrested anyone in connection with the assault."

Derbyshire police did not respond to questions about the assault, including whether it was being treated as a hate crime.

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